Another Story about My Boss

@gr8life (6252)
Malaysia
January 10, 2009 11:35am CST
Hi All, Honestly, I have no intention to talk bad about him but when I started a discussion related to him, I remember something funny. As you know, my boss doesn't speak English. One day, a Russian guy came to my office and wanted to discuss something with my boss. I tried to explain to the Russian guy but he insisted on meeting my boss. Of course I am not going to tell him that my boss doesn't speak English and that's the reason he can't see him. So, I told my boss. As usual, he didn't want to listen to me till the end and went out to see the guy. It was funny - I saw him using his hands to tell the Russian that he didn't understand and after that, I saw my Japanese colleague came out. They went into the meeting room and not long after, my colleague came and called me. There were four of us - The Russian spoke in English to me, I translated to my colleague who speaks little English and local language, my colleague translated to my boss in Japanese. When we came out, my boss walked away smiling, the Russian went back feeling disappointed for not getting all the info, and the two of us got headache!
2 people like this
9 responses
@Feona1962 (7527)
• United States
10 Jan 09
Thank you sooooo much for the laugh...this was a very funny story...A lot of translating going on...I would have had a headache right from the beginning...
1 person likes this
@gr8life (6252)
• Malaysia
12 Jan 09
Hello Feona, The problem is that my boss doesn't want to listen. I think he can understand English a bit but can't speak the language. Sometimes, he tries to speak to me but it is only one or two words in front like "Do you...." and starts to call my friend to translate the sentence. My Japanese friend is married to a Malaysian and she can speak a little bit of English and local language. So, she always translate word by word. I am always in the middle and my! I am the last who get it right... I have this problem from the very beginning (since my first boss and he is the fifth and the worst and the cleverest) so I get used to sign language. Sometimes our sign language really looks like Ultraman fighting the monsters or Batman with hands 'flying' here and there just to get it right. He even scolds me in Japanese and I always surrender as I don't understand at all. Sometimes he wants to joke with me but yes, I laugh but I don't know what it is all about!
@Feona1962 (7527)
• United States
12 Jan 09
OMG....too funny...I wouldn't last one day cuz I would demand he learns to talk right or I am outta there... No batman or kung foo gestures with me... I get dizzy just bending my head...I can't imagine doing all that gymnastic stuff..
1 person likes this
@gr8life (6252)
• Malaysia
12 Jan 09
Hello Feona, That's what happened to my friend. She is 53. Every time there is a 'heated argument' in the office (when the Batman and the Ultraman can't seem to understand each other) she will get pressured and oppss...missing in action a day after that! The day I shouted to my boss (the very first time in my 10 years working there), my friend had her fair share too...I saw her drinking Chamomile tea and she told me to do the same too Oh, help me God! Give me a new boss who can speak English!
@Rexdoron (345)
• Malaysia
11 Jan 09
What a story. It's so fun to hear that. Oh, I heard that Japanese praises their language more than any other language. And, that they do a lot of things (including in business) according to their culture, tradition and their own ways. They think their is better. So, maybe that's the reason for your boss attitude. Anyway, is that true? As you are working with them so maybe you see things better. I hope that your boss will learn from that and started learning and speaking English. May you have a great life.
1 person likes this
@gr8life (6252)
• Malaysia
12 Jan 09
Hello Rexdoron, They are hardworking people. But you can see that kind of working environment if it is in Japan. When they get out from the country and work in foreign land, they might change their working style. For example, my own boss. When the first time he reached Malaysia, he stayed until late night and felt weird when we went back early. He even thanked us when we stayed for over time (in fact we are forced to work extra hours and get paid for that) After three or four months, he just did the same too. They feel proud of their cultures and language. Whenever you show the interest to learn the language, they will teach you happily. In term of work, they try not to say 'no' too much and really respect customers whether they are right or wrong. 'Customers are always right' really suits them..
@Rexdoron (345)
• Malaysia
13 Jan 09
Thanks for your information. Looks like I added new knowledge.
1 person likes this
@Dasari100 (3793)
• Anantapur, India
7 Apr 09
It was nice conversion between Russian guy and you so it was good experience to your boss also because he came to know that he has to learn English so when you met that person.
1 person likes this
@gr8life (6252)
• Malaysia
7 Apr 09
Hello Dasari100, He is leaving to Japan on 20th this month. My new boss will come by end of the month too. I don't know how he would be but I do hope he can understand basic English. If not, I have to suffer for another two years again!
@bunnybon7 (46684)
• Holiday, Florida
2 Apr 09
i love this discussion. glad i stopped by. it reminds me of when i worked at GM. some mechanics and designers were Japanese,some German, Mexican,chinese,and of course lots of only English speaking Americans. it got like the tower of babble at times
1 person likes this
@gr8life (6252)
• Malaysia
3 Apr 09
Hello bunnybon7, I already 'suffered' more than two years! In fact, both of us made mistake. We don't even care to learn the basic - at least to understand simple words that are widely used by both of us. The translator is another story. I know it is not easy for her to translate when the boss doesn't even want to listen and always want her to translate directly whatever he says. If you see how we communicate, I bet you can't stop laughing!
@vanities (11409)
• Davao, Philippines
14 Jan 09
hi gr8..funny really...just curious why your boss don't bother to learn a few words....well i guess you can learn if you wish too...your hubby is a Russian yes?? can you speak their dialect?
@gr8life (6252)
• Malaysia
23 Mar 09
Hello vanities, This is my weakness or maybe just 1001 reasons that I want to give here (to save my life!) - I am very slow at learning new language. Yes, my husband is Russian but after almost 4 years of marriage, I can't say a word of it. I have been with the company for 10 years and being surrounded by Japanese most of the time and yes, I don't speak their language. I don't blame my boss totally for not being able to speak English as I, myself didn't take the effort to learn their language too...
@Cannonball (3634)
• France
13 Jan 09
Funny situation indeed
1 person likes this
@gr8life (6252)
• Malaysia
23 Mar 09
Hello Cannonball, We always have funny situation here especially when you are able to see how I communicate with him...
@aseretdd (13732)
• Philippines
11 Jan 09
Reminds me of the story about the Tower of Babel... but in this case... good thing you were there to translate... i can just imagine how difficult it must have been... like translating a four times... i wonder if the message came across to your boss... as what the russian would have wanted it?...
@gr8life (6252)
• Malaysia
12 Jan 09
Hello aseretdd, I can tell you... The Russian didn't get the answer to his questions. My boss thought that everything is settled. My colleague felt guilty as she couldn't translate everything properly. I got headache because I knew it - the Russian is not going to get what he is looking for! My boss talked in Japanese to the translator. The translator (my colleague) explained to me in the mix of English and local language (word by word) and I, tried to figure out the meaning and explained to the Russian in English. The best is that, you know how Russian speaks English, don't you? Anyway, the three of us were happy (except the Russian) and the job is done!
• Philippines
10 Jan 09
hi! i think your boss need some tutorial or seminar like learning basic english..how come that he became the company head wherein fact he doesn't even know how to speak even a basic english..then how could he answer calls from united states..how could he deal with his trades...as an employee you should be aware of this and have a concern with your boss like giving him a dictionary like his own language to english translation..and he can practice this all the days of his life...
@gr8life (6252)
• Malaysia
12 Jan 09
Hello wordlbestwriter2008, He has both hard copy and digital dictionaries on his table. I think he understands English but can't speak the language. I am not good either as this is just my second language. So, I don't think I am the right person to teach him. I work for the Japanese and he is from Foreign Ministry. Yesterday, another similar case happened. A British guy called up and asked my help to check some information. Unfortunately, he only can get the information from Tokyo Office so I gave him the number to call. I told him that he might need a help of someone who can speak Japanese when he is dealing with them. He called me back and told me that he couldn't understand a thing as every thing was told to him in Japanese. So he asked me whether I can help him. I asked my boss and tried to explain the situation. I told him that this guy has no one who can speak Japanese and he needs our favor to help him out. He explained to me everything but at the end of the translation, my boss told me, "To get a better answer, ask him to ask someone who can speak Japanese to call Japan directly" Oh, my! How am I going to tell that last sentence to the guy?
@AnakSuNamun (2084)
• United States
10 Jan 09
Who said something bad about Russians?! lol That is quite a story, how come he became a boss or why doesn't he learn English?
1 person likes this
@gr8life (6252)
• Malaysia
12 Jan 09
Hello AnakSuNamun, I work for the Japanese but my job is to deal with the locals. So, I speak English most of the time. My three bosses are Japanese and they speak little English and one of them, can' t speak at all. It is hard sometimes but I get used to it. The problem is whenever a foreigner comes to my office, it is hard for the boss to meet him and he needs someone to help him out. Most of the time, my colleague (who is the most senior staff in our department) and I, become the 'victims' . My boss doesn't want to listen and whenever we try to translate, he will jump to the conclusion and it irritates us sometimes...